Tag Archives: Valentine’s

Book Review: Valentine in Venice by Kaya Quinsey

As a special Valentine’s Day edition of the weekly I Love Romance Blog review, this week’s selection is Valentine in Venice by Kaya Quinsey.

This is another short story that I wish were longer (What can I say? I love to read!), but if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining story this Valentine’s Day – check this one out.

Valentine remembers when she first visited Venice in high school. Although the sights and sounds are amazing, she definitely remembers her first kiss. Ten years later, she returns to Venice – plus one camera and minus one husband. But, fate isn’t done with her yet and Valentine is about to get her happily ever after…I think.

Though a short story, the author has done a great job of describing Venice.  The way the story was told, I was taken back to my own trips to Italy and strolls down the canals of the ancient city. Considerably less steamy than last week’s selection, but heavier on the romance – this story was definitely enjoyable.

“Happily ever after…I think?”

I know, you’re wondering what that was about. The setup is there for the HEA, but we’re left to imagine it for ourselves. I actually found myself flipping a couple pages ahead to see if there was more story – then, I was a little bereft. What happened to Valentine? Did she move to Venice? Did she go back to Chicago? I’ve certainly answered all those questions for myself and Valentine is doing just fine where she is.

It is well-written and entertaining, but the speedy, cliffhanger ending was jarring – I give Valentine in Venice by Kaya Quinsey 3 HEARTS!

Recommended Read

Book Info:

Valentine Wells returns to Venice. After having visited ten years earlier when she was just sixteen years old, it was where she had impulsively met Lorenzo Dipachio. Her first kiss. Her first love.

Now twenty-six, Valentine is a successful wedding photographer in Chicago. Still impulsive, Valentine is recently divorced after being married for about a minute in Las Vegas. And she doesn’t miss the irony of being a divorced wedding photographer. Also dealing with her mother’s recent diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s, Valentine’s father convinces her that she needs a break.

Now that she is back in Venice, Valentine wants to prove to herself that she’s no longer the impulsive, daring girl who got married (and quickly divorced) in Vegas to a man she barely knew. Now, she is living by a new set of rules: planned, cautious, and carefully executed.

But her plan is challenged when she falls (literally) into the path of her first love, Lorenzo. And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, will Valentine be able to keep herself from making another big mistake?

Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/3LGKNM

AUTHOR: Kaya Quinsey

TITLE: Valentine in Venice

GENRE: contemporary romance, holiday romance, sweet romance, second chance romance

RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2019

PUBLISHER: Books to Go Now

ISBN/ASIN: B07MPDCLN6

OUR RATING: ♥♥♥

REVIEWED BY: Kevin Ethan

Up Next Week: Bedroom, Boardroom by Gemma Snow

Thanks for reading our weekly book review on ILRB!

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Filed under Blogging, Book News, book reviews, Books, Contemporary, Event, new release, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Second Chances, short stories, Stories, sweet romance, Valentine's, Writing

Top Valentine’s Day Traditions around the World: a guest post by Dating Connections

Top Valentine’s Day Traditions around the World

 

To some people, Valentine’s Day is just a ‘Hallmark holiday’, while others take it very seriously.

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Judging by the traditions discussed below, it’s clear that Valentine’s Day celebrations have been present around the world a lot longer than Hallmark has been in business. Today, we go over some of those traditions and what single women used to do on ‘Lovers’ Day’ to attract the opposite sex in the hopes of marrying. It’s a good thing girls don’t throw mass bonfires in anger due to rejection anymore like they used to do in France and try to find love online in a much more peaceful manner instead! 😉

France

Viewed by many as one of the most romantic countries in the world, it’s no wonder that people have celebrated Valentine’s Day or ‘Lovers’ Day’ for centuries in France. It’s possible that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned at the Tower of London in 1415.

Another rather peculiar French tradition was the ‘loterie d’amour’ or ‘drawing for love’. Men and women would fill houses that faced one another, and then take turns calling out to one another and creating couples. Men who weren’t satisfied with their match could reject it and leave with another woman, and the women who were left without a match would later gather for a bonfire.

During the bonfire, women burned pictures of the men who wronged them and cursed the opposite sex.

Created by alexeyzhilkin – Freepik.com

This tradition became so violent that it was eventually banned by the government.

Paris is the city of love so it’s only natural that it’s had a number of traditions where sweethearts openly confessed their love despite the fact that some of them are now prohibited. The love locks tradition was very popular up until a few years ago and it was characterized by couples in love inscribing their names or initials on a padlock, attaching it to a public structure, usually a bridge, and throwing away the key – permanently sealing their love. The Pont des Arts was everyone’s favorite site for attaching the love locks, but in May 2015 the city council decided to remove all 45 tons of them because they were an eyesore and detrimental to the city’s architecture.

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Italy

Much like their French counterparts, Italians have long celebrated Valentine’s Day but originally the celebrations were part of the Spring Festival. In the early days, young people in love would gather in gardens and similar places to enjoy poetry readings and music before going for a walk with their beloved.

Another old Valentine’s Day tradition in Italy was for young, unmarried girls to wake up before dawn to spot their future husbands. The belief was that the first man they saw on Valentine’s Day would become their husband within a year or at least he would strongly resemble their future husband.

Today, Italians in love exchange gifts and romantic dinners. One of the most popular gifts is Baci Perugina, which are small hazelnuts covered in chocolate and wrapped in paper with a romantic quote printed on it in four languages.

Brazil

Given that the carnival takes place in February or March each year, Brazilians skip the February 14th celebrations but don’t skip celebrating ‘Lover’s Day’ or ‘Dia dos Namorados’ on June 12th.

They exchange chocolates, flowers, and cards, and enjoy music festivals and performances held throughout the country. Also, Brazilians exchange gifts with their friends and family as well.

Finally, the following day is Saint Anthony’s Day, which honors St. Anthony, the patron saint of marriage. On this day, single women perform rituals called ‘simpatias’, hoping that St. Anthony would bring them a husband.

The Philippines

People in the Philippines celebrate Valentine’s Day like their Western counterparts, with one bit of difference. A new tradition has developed over the years where many young couples tie the knot on February 14 thus sharing a wedding day, and usually have their ceremonies in public places together.

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South Africa

In South Africa, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in a more or less expected way with festivals, flowers, and similar tokens of love. However, women in South Africa will wear their hearts on their sleeves on February 14 by pinning the names of their crushes on their shirtsleeves, revealing who they like.

Uschi, Flickr

This is how men find out about their secret admirers.

Wow! These sound like some fascinating traditions to keep!

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such an illuminating article…just in time to get us in the mood for the upcoming holiday! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!

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Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Gifts, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, sweet romance, Traditions, Valentine's

Tips on Getting A Romantic Partner A Gift for Valentine’s Day: a guest post by Dating Connections

3 Tips on Getting A Romantic Partner A Gift for Valentine’s Day

 

Picking the right gift for your partner can be rather tricky, regardless of whether you date a cowboy, a biker, or someone else entirely, while things get additionally complicated if you’re in a relationship for quite some time and therefore lack original ideas.

PIX1861, Pixabay

They say it gets easier as time goes by, but we have to be completely honest here and tell you this is nothing but a vicious lie. Moreover, people actually want to do their best once they get to know their romantic partners well, and thus tend to get overwhelmed with thinking because they feel like nothing is good enough.

This is kind of logical if you sit down to think about it. We bet you can probably recall being afraid more than once that your choice of a gift would disappoint your partner. All because kindred spirits aren’t supposed to make gift-picking mistakes, right? And this further led you to spend crazy amounts of money and other painstaking strategies which, sadly, didn’t bring desired results.

Created by Peoplecreations – Freepik.com

But, what if we told you there’s an easy way to pick a gift for Valentine’s Day and that all you have to do is keep reading the following paragraphs? Moreover, the tips we’re about to share with you are both unisex and universal so we warmly advise you to stay tuned to find out more!

Tip #1 – Consider Their Likes & Interests

If you’ve been dating him/her for some time or the two of you are already living together, chances are you probably know their favorite TV shows, movies, comic book characters, and video games, which should significantly facilitate your gift-picking quest.

Created by Freepik

On the other hand, there are literally thousands of online shops selling various geeky-oriented merch and they are usually catering to the needs of both male and female audiences. And if you’re pretty much convinced that your bae isn’t a type of person who gets entranced at the very sight of flowers or a romantic poetry book, but wants a Thor action figure instead, we warmly suggest you stick with this option. On the other hand, you can still complement one such gift with a red rose or a box of chocolates to give it a romantic vibe and make it a bit festive.

Tip #2 – Be Inventive Without Keeping Your Brain Too Busy

That’s right. Nowadays, there are many online sellers and shops that specialize in original gifts that are the embodiment of creativity and more importantly – their sole purpose is to be there for you in the times of crisis, which can save you from a lot of pain indeed. Moreover, opting for a kind of a gift that combines authenticity, romance and humor is our warm recommendation for everyone seeking out a well-balanced Valentine’s Day gift for their significant other. These come in a range from fondue sets for two to Kinky Truth or Dare adult games but the options are basically countless nowadays, and it just takes a couple of hours of browsing online.

Tip #3 – Relaxation Gifts Are Always A Win-Win

We all have crazy long working hours these days, so going with a spa coupon or something similar can be a great gift for your partner, regardless of their gender.

Created by Javi_indy – Freepik.com

Massages are also legit, but you can be inventive as well and devise some fun coupons that will include some non-standard – at home – services. The great thing about these is that you don’t have to be skilled with Photoshop, as you can always find some interesting free templates for your coupons, come up with some fun text, then print it and voila! Free cheat tip: Pinterest is basically full of fun DIY massage coupons so go ahead and feel free to borrow some you find the most appropriate.

Ha…nice! These are some cool tips for figuring out what to get the people we love for the upcoming holiday.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DatingConnect

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!

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Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Holiday, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Valentine's

A Singles’ Guide to Surviving This Valentine’s Day: a guest post by Dating Connections

A Singles’ Guide to Surviving This Valentine’s Day

 

Although Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a holiday of love and happiness, there are a lot of people out there who actually resent the date. Most of the people in question are actually single, which leads to being sick of all the lovey-dovey stuff that happens on the 14th of February.

Alina Cerny, Flickr

But what if we told you that you don’t have to be miserable on Valentine’s Day even if you didn’t have any luck with free singles dating sites or with hooking up with someone a week prior?

In fact, there is more than one way you can turn Valentine’s Day from a day you loathe to a fun experience that might even lead you to creating some friendships or even finding love.

1. Occupy Your Thoughts

It can be really difficult to ignore the “love is in the air” vibe that always comes with Valentine’s Day simply because it’s a greatly promoted holiday and it’s something all couples you know will talk about. Still, this is no reason for you to brood throughout the whole day, as there are other things you can do instead.

For starters, the easiest thing to do in order to not kill your mood completely on that day is to occupy your thoughts with something other than Valentine’s Day.

Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

You can get busy with your hobby, for example, especially if it’s a creative one.

Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

Carpentry and sculpting can be of great help here.

Another solution is to cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and dive into a good book. Before you know it, time will fly by while you get involved with the latest crime-thriller novel by a great writer.

Created by picjumbo – Freepik.com

2. Spend Time in Good Company

It might seem like a longshot on paper, but spending time in the company of good friends can actually be a very enviable situation if luck is on your side.

Namely, hanging out with your buddies and girlfriends that aren’t already involved with the dreaded holiday can take your mind of your love situation just as effectively as any hobby. It actually might be even better than being alone, as socializing with people you like usually brings much more benefits than isolation.

Created by Freepik

3. Meet Someone

On the other hand, we have meeting new single people. Similarly to hanging out with friends, this can be a great way to make you involved with something else rather than dwelling on your romantic drought. But wait – there’s more!

Another (possibly more important) benefit of hanging out with other singles on Valentine’s Day lies in the chance of actually meeting someone you can spend the next February 14th with. You’re all singles there, you all dislike Valentine’s Day and none of you have anything better to do on that day – why not try to meet someone new (and single) who might just be your cup of tea and who might make you stop loathing Valentine’s Day?

Created by Freepik

Definitely some food for thought here. These are great tips for taking our thoughts away from the dreaded romantic holiday, and possibly keeping our minds open to the idea of meeting someone new.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DatingConnect

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉 Have a great week!

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Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Singles, Valentine's

Guest Poet Spotlight: Honcho Mars returns!

Hi, readers! Last April, I recognized a pretty special time for writers and readers alike, National Poetry Month, and invited poet Honcho Mars to spotlight to some of his wonderful poems. Today he returns to showcase a little more of it for us.

I love poetry, almost as much as I love romance! It is music for my eyes, and a song in my heart. 🙂

poetry

Honestly, readers, I spend quite a bit of time stalking poetry groups on Facebook just to see what my fellow writers are doing these days. And Honcho is one talented poet!

Hello, Honcho! Welcome back to the blog! 🙂

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Honcho: Hello! It’s a pleasure to be here, Marie.

Marie:  The honor is mine, believe me. Thank you for visiting us. We’re so glad you’re visiting the I Love Romance Blog, where we get to talk about my favorite subject – love!

And how fitting is it that we have Honcho today to show us some of his love poems, especially this close to Valentine’s Day?

So, take it away, Honcho, and give us a peek at what you’ve brought to thrill our romantic hearts…

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Poems by Honcho Mars

Walking her home

She worked nights as a seamstress
Perhaps that’s how she knew
How to stitch back his heart
She mended with those caring hands
At that moment he felt safe
In his head he felt like he could love again
In his heart he knew he could
This began the journey of two lovers
So different but so much alike
She loved walks in the parks
Nights out at the movies
Dancing all night long
She adored dresses it made her feel like a princess
Searching for her long lost prince
Finally he was found
He to make her happy
He walked in the park with her
Went to the movies to be close to her
Danced the night away
He did all these things
Just to be near her
He did not care where they went
Just as long as she was next to him
He felt 10 feet tall when she walked with him
A beauty inside out
She captured his heart so many different moments
He could never compare them because
Each one made a different moment
He loved her madly
She loved like an angel
The spark showed when they kissed
Kids nearby thought it was the fourth of July
As they stroll side by side
They catch a glimpse of their future
As an elderly couple pass by laughing and holding hands
A simple nod between men
A smile between the women
As if they knew this will be them
In the years to come
He turns to her and says
I will love you till we are old and gray
She said I will love you more every day
Until we reach that point in life
First you have to make me your wife
Looking up at the stars shine above
She saw a glow as he was on one knee
Asking her for hand in marriage
She cried and yelled yes
At this moment the elderly couple looked back
To see this moment
They smile and kiss
They have lived this moment before
They are just here to walk out their journey
The way they started
Together

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My Spanish Rose

I met you on a hot Texas day
Wiping away the sweat
Maybe it was the fear
Whatever it was
Brought us here
On this road
In this town
On this day
As we glance
Our souls dance
Into a breeze
A sign
Of the years to come
A love
Unknown
We flourish
As we grew
Older and wiser
Our love planted
That day
As we gave in
Surrendering
We are now captives
Held by a bound
I am yours
You are mine
My young
My beautiful
Forever
My Spanish rose

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Wild Flower

Wild flower growing beautiful
Colors that broadcast
The perfect picture
For all to see
In a canvas
A rare flower
Growing amongst the weeds
So out of place
Yet your beauty
Stands out
For every eye to see
As they pass by
The scent in the air
Is a sweet aroma
That attracts me to you
A wild flower
In a perfect bloom
In this hour
For all to see
Standing tall
A perfect memory
Of this flower
Beautiful for all to see.

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Filtering

Through this smoke filled room
Filtering out the idea
Of love at first sight
Standing as a statue
Frozen by fear
Through my eyes
I see you smiling
Guiding me to safe shores
As if you were a lighthouse
My beacon of hope
Could this be true
That I have fallen
Like an exiled angel
Casted to roam alone
Given a second chance
Did the days
Of being forsaken expire
The time is now
I must move
Before the hands of time
Countdown to the midnight hour
And this fairy tale ends
I slither like a snake
To you, my eve
Tempting you
Corrupting words
A stolen heart
Stole moment
By one look of your eye
My life as I knew
Was over
At the very minute
I pledged my heart
My soul
My everything
To walk by your side
Into morning horizon
We ride out the fading night
Embracing the sun’s glory
Rays of light
As you light up
As a darkened night
On the fourth of July
How beautiful
To marvel at the sight
As I knew
I fell for you
At first sight.

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Everything

I didn’t love her
For the things
She said
I loved her
For everything
Her heart
Told me

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Undying love

She drove me into madness
A lonely wolf howling
At the new moon
I loved her
Like no other before
Pledging my commitment
Before hellfire desire
Sacrificing on the slab
The altar of my undying love

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I Am

I am your shadow
That follows you
I am the stars at night
Jealous of your beauty
I am all things
The cool breeze
Gently touching your face
Rain on a summers day
The light you see
Waking up every morning
Heaven’s sunray
I am the beating of your heart
The painter
Painting a smile upon your face
The silent whisper
Whispering your name
I am love
The key opening
Your hidden secrets
The hand that wipes
Away your tears.
I am jealousy
I am envy
I am lust
Desiring a taste
From the forbidden fruit
I am you
I am me
I am beauty
I am vanity
Peace and hope
Life and death
A sunrise and sunset
I am the tracks
Of your tears.
I am the melting wax
The wick of a burning candle
The wind that snuffs
Out the flame
I am good
I am evil
I am the lost
I am the found
I am all things
Like your shadow
I will always be around.

Her name is

Her eyes shined like diamonds
In the morning sky
Her hair flows like a river
Overflowing from the seasons of rain
Her love she gave in abundance
My hands always remained stretched forward
Forever waiting for her love
Her voice rang throughout the valleys
Like the bells being rung
On a Sunday morning
Her hands touched every soul
Like a cool breeze
In summer’s death grip
Her name was never spoken
I knew her well
At night time
She came to me
Opening up my door
Her presence was always welcomed
I built a temple for her
Within my heart
She is love
How I love her so
Sitting around a fire
Singing songs
For her
My heart’s desire
A love that never will expire.

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♥♥♥ Perfect, Honcho! So romantic! Thank you! ♥♥♥

Poet Bio

10447052_1435612340036889_2672300518382223832_nHoncho Wolfgang Von Mars began his journey as a youth in San Antonio, Texas. Having a strong desire to join the music scene, he combined forces with his brother Michael Gonzales and they formed Kin of Cain, a local rap group. From there, he felt like his future was laid out before him. Searching for his voice, he found it in writing poetry.

Writing for three years now, Honcho believes poetry is a way to release built up emotions, which is why he founded Writers of the Storm, an online community of thousands of poets around the world. Currently, he is in the process of writing a poetry book. While he’s against promoting evil and hate, his main desire is to lighten up the darkness of the world with love and positive thoughts.

Poet Links

https://www.facebook.com/Honcho.Mars78

https://instagram.com/honcho_mars/

http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poems_by_poet.aspx?ID=56991

Once again, I want to thank our distinguished guest and poet, Honcho Mars, for stopping by the I Love Romance Blog!  It was such a pleasure to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to follow this wonderful poet’s work! 🙂

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Filed under Event, Guest Writer, Love, love poem, Message, poem, poems, Poet, Poetry, Readers, Romance, Writing